Rutgers Scarlet Knights Preview
Date: Saturday, January 29th
Time: 5:30pm CST
Location: Lincoln, NE
Record: 11-8 (5-4 Big Ten)
Coach: Steve Pikiell (6th Season)
Last Meeting: January 8th - Rutgers 93 Nebraska 65
The Scarlet Knights have gone 2-3 since Nebraska last played them in Piscataway back on January 8th. The followed their win over Nebraska with a rough 49-66 loss to Penn State.
However, they bounced back and beat Maryland 70-59 on the road and then beat Iowa at home in a low scoring win 48-46. A game that was about as Big Ten as you could get. Who doesn’t love a lot of defense and few buckets?
They have since gone 0-2 with a loss 65-68 loss to Minnesota and a 60-68 loss to Maryland at home. The Minnesota loss was close with the lead going back and fourth multiple times until the last few minutes when the Golden Gophers were able to keep the lead until the whistle blew. Maryland, on the other hand, was a blowout for most of the game. A good revenge win for the loss to Rutgers earlier in the season.
Ron Harper Jr. is still dominating the floor for the Scarlet Knight. He is currently averaging 16.3 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 2.0 assists per game while shooting 45% from the floor. He shot almost lights out against Nebraska in their last meeting going 65%. Ron had 29 points against the Huskers in the win earlier this month. Once again, the Husker will have to key up on him to make sure they have a chance to keep the win at home on Saturday night.
Another name to keep an eye on is Paul Mulcahy. The 6’6” forward only had ten points in the win on January 8th but pulled down seven rebounds in the win. Add on the eight assists against the Huskers and you can star to see why he had such a good night.
Also of note is senior Geo Baker. He did not have a big outing in the win against Nebraska only scoring five points and three rebounds. However he is second on the team behind Harper averaging 12.2 points per game. Geo may not have had a big game against the Big Red but he very well could this time around. Dismissing his past performance would not be wise. He had twenty fives points in the Minnesota loss and sixteen against Iowa. The guy can shoot and it might be an early night if the Huskers do not clamp down on him once again.
Nebraska will have home court advantage on Saturday and hopefully the crowd will be into it. Nebraska needs a win because, they just really need a win. Rutgers on the other hand has a two game losing streak and need as much as they can for the post season. They beat the Huskers once and have the talent and coaching to do it again. Fred Hoibergs game plan will most likely determine if they can pull off another one.